Left behind by US withdrawal, some former Afghan spies and soldiers turn to Islamic State

KABUL – Some former members of Afghanistan’s US-trained intelligence service and elite military units – now abandoned by their US patrons and hunted by the Taliban – have joined the only force currently challenging the country’s new rulers: Islamic State.

The number of defectors joining the terrorist group is relatively small, but growing, according to Taliban leaders, former security officials in the Afghan republic and people who know the defectors. Importantly, these new recruits bring Islamic State critical expertise in intelligence gathering and warfare techniques, potentially strengthening the extremist organization’s ability to challenge Taliban supremacy.


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